AT&S uses pure air as an innovative carrier medium for minimal signal loss in 5G applications. For this innovative transmission technology, the Styrian company received the Futurezone Award 2021 in the “5G Innovation of the Year powered by Huawei” category.

With the advancing digitalization, the demands on the digital infrastructure will increase massively in the coming years. In particular, the new 5G mobile communications standard will increase the data volume exponentially. "These rapidly growing amounts of data have to be processed, transmitted and stored with the least possible time delay and the smallest possible losses," explained Hannes Voraberger, director R&D at the Styrian high-tech group AT&S. After all, the slightest delay—in the case of self-driving cars, for example—could already have fatal consequences. This is exactly where the award-winning innovation from AT&S comes in. "We have dealt intensively with new materials, manufacturing processes, and design features for innovative interconnection solutions and found a way to specifically place air chambers in the circuit board and reduce dielectric loss to an absolute minimum," said Voraberger.

This is because air has the advantage of not causing any dielectric losses during signal transmission. In order to be able to use this fact, so-called air cavities (air chambers) are integrated into high frequency circuit boards, with the result that transmission losses are significantly reduced. Depending on how and where the air chambers are used, signal losses can be reduced by 20 percent with simple means. If entire so-called waveguides are integrated into the circuit board, the material-dependent losses can be reduced entirely to zero.

"I would like to congratulate the entire AT&S R&D team on the award and I am very happy about the Futurezone Award 2021," said AT&S CEO Andreas Gerstenmayer. “For us at AT&S, it is essential to work continuously on new technologies and solutions. That is the basis of our success and the foundation of our future. As one of the world's leading technology companies in our industry, innovation in cooperation with our customers is the key to success."

Incidentally, the high-tech circuit boards will be used in the future in 5G base stations and infrastructure systems, but also in next-generation radar systems in the automotive (autonomous driving) and industrial sectors.